Kendrick Lamar's "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers" is the rappers latest work of art. Split into two parts, the album showcases his evolution not only as an artist but as a human being. As expected, Kendrick is not shy with touching topics that may be hard to have, especially within the Hip Hop community.
His sixth song on part 2 of the album, "Auntie Diaries" does just that, shedding light on the topic of gender. Within the song he discusses the journey of his transgender family member, beginning the song with, "My auntie is a man now."
His lyrics discussed the criticism his family member received because of their identity. From his classmates pointing out his uncle's identity when he was dropped off by them at school, to his own family members wanting to fight them, Kendrick's recount certainly brings attention to the everyday challenges trans people face. However his delivery on the topic has been criticized by the LGBT community, especially due to him dead-naming his trans uncle and even Caitlyn Jenner.
*Deadnaming: call (a transgender person) by their birth name when they have changed their name as part of their gender transition.
My auntie is a man now I think I’m old enough to understand now…
I watch him and his girl hold their hands down Tip of the avenues under street lights made his Thinking, “I want me a bad bitch when I get big”…
My auntie is a man now Asked my momma why my uncles don’t like him that much And at the parties why they always wanna fight him that much She said “Ain’t no telling N—-s always been jealous because he had more women More money and more attention made more envy Calling him anything but broke was less offending”
Speaking of journeys, Kendrick also brought attention to societies' evolution as it pertains to slurs, such as the F-word and the N-word. He drops the F-word, symbolizing how he and others weren't aware of the hurt the word once caused, mostly due to youthful ignorance.
Back when it was comedic relief to say “F—-t”
“F—-t” “F—-t” “F—-t”, we ain’t know no better
Elementary kids with no filter however…
Towards the end of the song, he self reflected and discussed the time he brought a white girl on stage during his performance at the Hangout festival in 2018 in which she rapped one of his songs and said the N-word.
That time I brung a fan on stage to rap
But disapproved the word that she couldn’t say with me
You said “Kendrick, ain’t no room for contradiction
To truly understand love, switch position
‘F—-t, f—-t, f—-t,’ we can say it together
But only if you let a white girl say ‘N—a'”
Though Kendrick's intentions aren't particularly and intentionally malicious towards the community, some have heavily criticized his perceived allyship.
KB Brookins, a trans non-binary poet and essayist wrote via Okayplayer: "Queer and trans people don’t expect perfection, but we do rightfully expect for our feelings and critiques about media that fails us to be listened to and not spoken over. In the age of anti-trans legislation being at a high, it is in the best interest of LGBTQIA+ people to demand more from the media we consume. There are enough anti-trans sentiments, so even misguided allyship needs to be lovingly critiqued. It’s important to remember that all criticism is not canceling, but an invitation — and a starting of a conversation — to do better."
Trans activist Raquel Willis wrote via Twitter:
Read more Tweets about Kendrick Lamar's "Auntie Diaries" below:
Gayes, tell us your thoughts. IS Kendrick Lamar's "Auntie Diaries" a work of art that sheds light on the LGBT community or no?